Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Just a quick update.

I went down to the boat last night for a few hours of painting and stripping. The last coat of paint on the overheads left a few holidays. (Holiday is what you get when you miss a spot ie: “you must have been on holiday ‘cause you sure as hell weren’t there”). Then I remembered a trick I came up with during the year I worked construction. If you paint or varnish at night, or otherwise without a lot of outside light, and hold a flash light parallel to you work surface you can se the wet edge well and the little dry spots become visible. So last night I put one last coat on and used my old light trick and now they are done!

I also did some stripping in the forward berth (thanks Alia!) I’m with in 30 minutes of being done with the stripping. Close examination of the chain locker bulkhead shows some delaminating, so I’m just going to replace that with new wood.

Here are a couple interesting links. I like sailing, and sailing solo is something I consider a must know. If I need a crew my boat is too big, something I don’t think is ever going to be a problem. But I’m looking forward to checking this out.



Also, I’m looking for an interesting article that I’ve misplaced, maybe you can help. (I’ve been a little surprised that people are actually looking at this, even asking when I’m updating next and asking questions, thanks!)

I routinely save all my sailing magazines, but alas I’ve lost one and I really want to see an article again. Maybe you folks have seen the article I’m looking for.

Here’s the catch, I can’t remember which magazine it was. I routinely have 48 North, Latitude 38, Cruising World, Lat’s and Att’s, Good Old Boat and Practical Sailor around. I think it was in one of the last two.

The article was about a specific boat and upgrades the owner had done. In the head he used light weight plexi glass sheets and cut them into 1x1 tiles and tiled the head with them. They had a great tile look, but a fraction of the weight.

This was with in the last few months. If anyone knows of the magazine and month, I’d greatly appreciate the info.

I can just start experimenting, but I’d like take a second look and maybe even try to see more pictures of the tile job.


Monday, March 30, 2009

What a great weekend!

I took off work around noon on Friday and went down to the boat for a few hours. The sun was out so I was able to finish the last of the overheads before the rain started to come down.

The 1st thing I did was to put up the panels I had already finished. It is a 100 times easier now that they have been cut down into manageable sizes. Once all of these were up and had a couple screws to hold them, I sent out to make the final templates. I took a straight edge and set it into the grooves on the panels that were already up and scribed the line onto the paper patterns with a Shapie. If I skipped this step, the chance of making the lines all match up would be pretty slim. Even still I was relying on a bit of luck.

The patterns were moved outside, in the sun no less and cut out. Originally I had planned to make the one in front of the head in one piece, but I wanted to use the material I had on hand (and not spend and more $ than I needed too) so I ended up making that one in two pieces. I think this worked out best anyways. They are much easier to put up and take down.

I packed it in for the night.

The next morning I set on fitting the last 3 panels. They only required minimal trimming to fit nicely, better to cut them too big and trim than try to add material....

After 30 minutes or so, all three panels were up! I still needed to sand and paint them but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. A bit to my surprise, the panels all lined up. Well with in a 1/8th inch anyways. The forward birth overhead and the main cabin are almost seamless. This makes me very happy.

The panels were then sanded and painted and later this week I'll epoxy the backsides. An update on that. I had been sanding by hand, but I am now using my random orbital. I guess I was a little afraid of taking off too much, but as long as the material is mostly flat, it works well, and is many times faster. Faster is better!

Between coats of paint I started stripping the forward bulkhead in the v birth. Winterhawk has a lot of wood inside compared to the Westerly. I’ve never stripped varnish before. Now I know why people grumble over it. Using a heat gun and scraper is hard work. There were some areas where the varnish was thinner and these were actually harder to strip. The spots with nice varnish melted right off, but the light areas required a bit of muscle. This is also a very time consuming task!

By the end of the weekend the forward half of the forward bulkhead was stripped. I still need to do the door, but that is something I split over a night or two this week.

I’ve been going over decorating styles. Basically I’m thinking light wood and dark fabric, or dark wood and light fabric. I’m going to investigate the varnish options I’d like to keep the wood as light as possible so I’ll try using a clear varnish and see what it looks like. I’m also looking into the possibility of lightening the wood, but I don’t want to loose that nice wood look. We’ll see.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

More overhead progress

This weekend was a good one. I was able to get down Saturday, but not until around noon. Alia and I were almost successful in our goal of killing off a bottle of tequila. Needless to say, we stayed in bed till way late. But, I was able to rally and get down to the boat for a good days work.

The weather was good so I was able to make some progress on the overhead panels, but before all that happened I spent a little time making the paper patterns for the cork insulation and then cutting the cork. This was set aside until I have the overhead panels cut and painted.

Now onto the overheads. I picked up 2 more 4x8 panel sheets and made patterns but this time running fore-aft rather than side to side like I did with the cork insulation. I made the patterns in one long piece, but these are just too big to handle with anything less than 2 people. So these will be cut down into 2 sections but I'll wait on that until I can get Alia down to the boat for a test fit. After a quick job with the saw they will be ready to go up, just after I glue up the cork.

These panels received the same treatment as the forward cabin, and coat of 2 part West Systems epoxy then a top coat of Petit Dura White on the back to make them resistant to any deck leaks that may occur. Ideally I'd like to have used some sort of light weight foam panels but I just can't find them. I guess I'd have to worry about them getting dented or cracked, but even some sort of plastic would be nice, no rot, super light weight, that would be ideal. If anyone has a source, pass it on!
The material comes pre primed, but there are some brush strokes and drips that should be sanded out. Folding a piece of 120 grit and running it through each of the grooves and then some 220 over the flat surfaces has given a good, smooth surface in the past so I stuck with that. The front side then got a coat of Petit Dura White. This paint is good stuff but the 1st coat is a little hard to work with. I've got a system down. 1st I use a angle brush and brush the paint into the grooves, working in small section. Then I quickly use a foam roller over that. You'll be left with some brush strokes, but once it dries you can knock them down with some 220. Then you can apply the 2nd coat which is really the 1st coat on the flat sections. The 2nd and 3rd coats I apply with a foam roller. This will coat the flat areas and maybe a little into the grooves. The 2nd and 3rd coat goes on really easily and once it's dry has a really nice finish to it. At $30 a quart it's not cheap but it looks far better than the cheaper Home Depot stuff. It would be nice to spray this stuff it would make for a much faster operation. But without air or sufficient working area this is not an option for me.

I'm adding a picture I poached off the Morris Yachts site. These things are expensive! But look at the overhead, that’s what I'm going for here. I love the white upholstery, That wouldn’t stay white in a boat that gets used, but damn that looks nice. Notice the details on the bulkheads.

This week I'll get the overheads up. I have 2 small areas then I'll need to make patterns and panels for. One, in the port aft section. The port side from the companionway to the main bulkhead is 4-5 inches longer than starboard. This made a little bit of a problem. The starboard side fit on a 4x8 panel, but port can up 6+ inches short. I opted to make the break in the aft most section. You won't see the seam as it’s covered by some finish trim but even still the aft section is less of a visual focal point. I have one other overhead to pattern and cut, which is the area in front of the heads door and into the forward cabin.
So, progress is being made, visual progress at least.

I heads up to anyone local, I saw that the Des Moines Yacht Club is have some sort of swap meet on Saturday. I'm hoping to get AC and DC panels as well as some old halogen fixtures that I gat swap in L.E.D. bulbs into. I'll then start pulling some marine grade boat cable and start the wiring of the lighting.

Another positive note, it was a bit warmer this week. It's been staying above freezing even at night and even touched 50 degrees during the days. The newest boat in the yard was even able to put on a coat of antifouling Saturday. I hope to be able to start the bottom paint in the next month or so.

It's about time!

Friday, March 13, 2009

I’m ready to get some work done on the boat!

I spent several nights this weekend diagnosing and fixing a worn governor gear in the Jeeps transmission. The damn thing wouldn’t shift out of 1st. But alas, all is fixed and she’s purring and shifting happy now.

Alia and I are heading over to Roslyn for a show tonight. I’m looking forward to getting some work in on Sunday but tonight is going to be nice and relaxing. I’ll plan on working on the boat a few nights next week to make up for the lost time. I’m also going to resume my 4 day work weeks so I can spend Friday-Sunday at the boat yard. I really want to make my self imposed June 1st deadline.

The boaters’ swap meet is coming up soon. When outfitting the Westerly I was able to find all sorts of deals here. From a boom vang for $25 to a 50amp smart charger for $60 this is the place to shop for deals. I’m in need of AC/DC panels, interior lights, some rope clutches, an oven/stove and a ton of other random things. The official start is 7am, but most of the good deals are gone by 4am. People are set up and shopping around midnight.
I need to add batteries for my headlamp to my shopping list.

I’ll remember my camera this weekend. I should have the last of the main cabin overhead battens in, and hopefully a significant part of the insulation too. I’ll take pictures of the chalk line trick for locating the battens overhead. I can then pattern and cut the main cabin overhead panels and begin to epoxy/ paint them. I’ll have to see how they lay, but I want to be able to easily take them down to access the cabin top hardware. I’ll probably opt to have the main cabin overhead in 5 sections, 4 pieces in the main cabin and one for the space between the main cabin/ forward cabin. This should leave no piece bigger than 4x4 which is a manageable size to remove and store in the boat while doing maintenance.
I hope that makes sense, like they say, a pictures worth a thousand words. It should come out like this:

Monday, March 9, 2009

No Boat Pictures

I spent Saturday doing family stuff, Alia and I went to the dog show. She's looking at dogs, specifically a Shiba Inu. I'm more of a big dog fan and we checked out several Mastiffs and Great Danes. We met the sweetest Bull Mastiff that really wanted to give hugs, he was a trim 130lbs.

I forgot the camera this weekend, but I was able to get a couple coats of paint on the overheads. I also put up a couple overhead battens in the main cabin. I'm post on this in detail later. It's important to take lots of measurements while you doing the prep work, but never forget to use your own eyes. I spent plenty of time measuring from bulkheads, but kept coming up with odd angles. Finally I thought I had things marked out pretty square when I laid down on the sole and looked up. WFT was I way off.

I ended up using a chalk line down the center ( it's safe to assume the mast is in the middle right?) and a speed square off that and all was well with in a few minutes. Again, more details when I head down there and take pictures.

Also, I was trying to be a cheap ass and avoid buying expensive traps. If you find yourself hauling out and removing deck hardware, just cough up the cash and buy a big 'ol tarp. I've spent more time than needed trying to save money with cheap plastic coverings and in the end just bought a full size tarp. I was getting little drips here and there and finally had enough.

On a side note the Jeep has been hauling me and lumber/tools back and forth for a few weeks now with out any complaints. But this weekend the transmission started acting up. Sounds like it might be a quick fix, a vacuum line but it's one less night working on the boat and until I fix it I can't drive over 28MPH. I can think of many things I'd rather do than work on the Jeep in the marina parking lot in the snow......

Thursday, March 5, 2009


I started this site to document the restoration of Winterhawk, if you found this site randomly, you’re probably scouring the web for information on sailboats for your own project.

I really like this site: http://www.ramoak.com/yankee30/ largely because it too is a Yankee 30, but also because it is current and the boat is in similar condition to Winterhawk.

If you’re looking for tips and ideas, this will be a good site to watch.
I also recommend a few books. The finely Fitted Yacht, and From a Bare Hull.

And while I’m dropping links, this one is great: http://www.sailtransportcompany.com/ A friend Bob is sailing his Yankee 30 in the Puget Sound delivering produce. Check it out, if you’re in the Seattle/ Ballard area you can sign up for a delivery.

Here is a link I found the other day. I’m going to give this a try. http://www.fieldlines.com/story/2007/1/28/215243/977
The Dr. Led lights I bought for the Westerly died with in a year. After a round of warranty replacements that also died after a year (and being a bitchy customer) They gave me a deal on the new “hi flux” lights. These do put out better light but they cost $75. Putting 10 on the boat isn’t cheap.

I’d like to start adding links to great sites about sailboat restoration. If you have a favorite, send it my way.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The last of the battens and insulation

Things are starting to look more finished.

This weekend I was able to glue in the last of the battens in the Vee birth. The last few were the short ones that go above the shelve. These will hold the horizontal strips of finish wood, most likely 1.5" mahogany, I was thinking ash, but the milling is more difficult. I'm not going to need any below the shelve because it has a liner. Someday if I wanted to ad them in I could, but that would be simply aesthetics.

Once the last of the battens were in I finished the templates for the cork and then cut them out and used the Super77 to hold them in place. For an extra layer of protection I picked up a cork sealer from the local green home supply, Eco Haus. All of the cork got a liberal coat on all exposed edges and faces.

I was also able to make templates for the finish coverings for the overheads. I again used the MDF bead board. MDF isn't the most waterproof material out there, but over 2 years and no problems on the Westerly. On the Westerly I coated the backside with latex paint. To go one step further on Winterhawk, I used 2 part epoxy. For the hell of it I'll paint them too. The edges will also be epoxied and painted and the faces will all get a coat of finish paint. These should last for a long time.

Now I can temporarily fit the overheads and make my templates for the sides. I'll do the same epoxy/ paint treatment to them. Then everything can get a coat of finish paint, if the weather holds. If it's raining, or snowing as of late, I'll do them in sections. There is only so much room when the boat is the workshop. Having the forward area "done" means I can have a clean area for painting the faces where they won't have dust setteling on them.

This week should have the paint applied, front and back and hopefully all the overheads and faces installed. I'll plan to spend a couple evenings working, apply a coat of paint and then head home while it dries overnight. This coming weekend I should be able to start on the overhead battens for the main cabin. With the wood core to screw into, these should go up fast.

It's really nice to finally see something getting close to finished. After weeks of prep work this is just the boost I needed to keep up with the long weeks.

i still think that the 1st of June could have the boat in the water.